NI incomes fall for third straight year

Figures present further evidence of the challenge facing dentists in Northern Ireland, says BDA

New figures from the Health and Social Care Information Centre have shown that dentists incomes in Northern Ireland have fallen for the third year in succession.

The median incomes for dentists in the health service and private practice fell by nearly eight per cent between the 2010/11 and 2011/12 financial years, from £65,100 to £60,000. Incomes have decreased for both practice owners and associates.

Dr Peter Crooks, chair of the BDA’s Northern Ireland Dental Practice Committee, said: “These figures provide further evidence of the growing financial challenge that has confronted dentistry in Northern Ireland in recent years. Falling incomes reduce practices’ ability to invest in the equipment and premises they need to provide patient care.

” Sadly, this fall is not a one-off. Incomes fell in the two years before the period covered in this report, and will almost certainly have fallen in the year after it. Exacerbating the already difficult situation, damaging proposals to cut health service dentistry were published earlier this year.

” It is time for a new approach for dentistry in Northern Ireland that recognises the reality practitioners face and that works with, rather than against, them to tackle oral health inequalities.”